Offer Flexibility in Design


By April Hann Lanford

Welded Frames Offer Flexibility in Design

By April Hann Lanford

The beauty of metal frames is that you can take an industrial and raw approach to them, or in other cases, achieve a highly polished, minimal, and sleek appearance.

Due to their inherent strength, metal frames can allow for narrower frame profiles for larger artwork.  It all depends on the type of metal selected as well as the finish.


Steel frames have become more popular over the past few decades.  For a more industrial look, the metal can be presented in its welded, untreated raw state.  Surfaces can be intentionally distressed and weathered to add to the rustic appearance.  Welded seams can be left as is as a decorative component showing the inherent structure of the join, or they can be ground to a smooth finishThe metal can also be treated to achieve different tonalities, ground surface textures, and sheens.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel profiles usually have a brushed or a highly polished surface. Unlike steel, the surface does not oxidize over time. The brushed surface can soften the appearance of the frame while adding a subtle surface texture.


Bronze has a nice warmth and works well with sepia tones, iron gall ink, albumen prints, etc.  The surface can be wax, patinated, burnished, hammered, and toned.


Brass looks best when highly polished. Its warm gold tone works well and is a more cost-effective option than a burnished gilded closed corner frame.


With the revived interest in warmer metals, copper profiles have had a resurgence.  Hammered, lightly brushed and patinated, or highly polished, copper is still not seen much in framing but makes a striking appearance when used.


Aluminum frames are a popular choice for their lightweight and narrow profile widths.

Like brass and stainless steel, aluminum is often highly polished to achieve a mirror-like reflective surface.  The surface can also be brushed or powder-coated in a variety of painted finishes and colors.  Aluminum is typically the metal of choice when the cost is a consideration for closed corner frames.

If you have questions or would like to see any of these options in person, please feel welcome to contact us at:


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Collection Care Articles

By April Hann Lanford

Our collection of educational articles provides an introduction to many topics about the preservation and conservation of fine art, antiques, and fine furniture.

Topics are often written as a result of questions provided by our clients. 


Framing Articles

By April Hann Lanford

There is a lot that goes into the design and fabrication of an archival custom frame. Whether a minimal TIG welded aluminum frame, acrylic vitrine, or a custom carved wood, 22k gilded antique revival frame, each design can have a variety of approaches and materials.


Emergency Care Articles

By April Hann Lanford

Our emergency care articles are a helpful introduction to how to prevent damage through preventative measures or art and antique collections.  When a disaster strikes, prompt response and taking the right steps can mitigate further damage.  


Antique Trader Articles

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Visit our collection of articles that have been published in Antique Trader.


For more than 60 years Antique Trader has been inspiring, informing, and entertaining the collecting community with timely...

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By April Hann Lanford

A selection of Artifact’s most recent projects highlighting our conservation and preservation work. We present each unique story describing the conservation process from reviewing the history, cause of loss, and condition to the steps of the treatment.

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